The US Missile Defense Agency tests its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile, one of the air defense systems that US senators want to remove from Saudi Arabia unless it cuts oil production. (Ralph Scott/Missile Defense Agency/US Department of Defense)

US Senators Push Saudis to Cut Oil Production

With prices at an 18-year low, 11 US senators representing oil-producing states said on Saturday that they had urged Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, deputy defense minister and ambassador to Washington to cut back on production. The senators, all Republicans, spoke with Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman, Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman and Ambassador Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan in a two-hour conference call. Riyadh has threatened to raise production in an apparent effort to squeeze its chief rival, Russia, to agree to a reduction. The two countries are now believed close to an agreement that would see a rollback by all oil-producing countries to counter the drop in demand due to the raging coronavirus pandemic, which has seen drivers and air travelers remaining at home under government-mandated lockdowns. Some of the senators taking part in the conference call have advocated cuts in US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia, as well as the removal of air defense systems, unless Riyadh agrees to a production cutback.

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